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Wednesday, 27 November, 2002, 00:16 GMT
Israel releases tape on Jenin killing
A Palestinian boy with a poster protesting Iain Hook's killing
The call was made an hour before Mr Hook was shot
A British aid worker killed by Israeli soldiers in Jenin last week said in a phone call shortly before his death that Palestinian gunmen had broken into his UN compound, according to a recording released by the Israeli military.


We're pinned down in the compound. They have knocked a hole in the wall, which I'm not happy about at all.

Iain Hook
Iain Hook, a senior official for the United Nations agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA) in Jenin, telephoned the Israeli authorities to say that gunmen had knocked a hole in the wall, which he was "not happy about at all".

"I'm trying to keep them out, and I will just keep my people pinned down in the corner until I hear from you. OK? Over," Mr Hook said in a message left on an answering machine.

The machine recorded the time of call - 1253 on Friday - less than an hour before Mr Hook was killed by the Israeli army, which has consistently alleged that Palestinian gunmen were inside the compound when the killing occurred.

Captain Peter Lerner, from the Israeli civil administration in the West Bank, said the tape was further proof that gunmen did get inside the compound.

However the UN spokesman in the region, Paul McCann, says that while there had been Palestinian militants in the area, Mr Hook had been able to persuade them that they were jeopardising the neutrality of the UN site and they had left.

A spokesman for UNRWA, Rene Aquarone, added that Mr Hook was shot in the back with a single bullet at a time when no military activity was taking place.

'Lack of respect'

A UN investigator from New York is currently in Jenin trying to establish what happened, but Mr Aquarone said "certain elements" were "quite clear at this stage already".


We feel there is a lack of respect and a disdain vis--vis the framework in which we and others render humanitarian assistance

Rene Aquarone, UNRWA spokesman
He expressed his concern that the ambulance called to the UN compound was delayed and Mr Hook died before reaching hospital.

"We feel there is a lack of respect and a disdain vis--vis the framework in which we and others render humanitarian assistance," he said.

He called for respect to the safety of the UNRWA staff and freedom of movement for its ambulances.


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